Sealift is a term used predominantly in military logistics and refers to the use of cargo ships for the deployment of military assets, such as weaponry, military personnel, supplies. It complements other means of transport, such as strategic airlifters, in order to enhance a state's ability to project power. Sealift shipping falls into three broad categories: dry cargo freighters, liquid tankers, passenger or troop ships. During joint operations, dry cargo ships may transport equipment and supplies required to conduct and sustain the operation. Sealift can be divided into strategic and tactical sealift. Strategic sealift is the transportation of vehicles and equipment to a staging area equipped with port facilities, with personnel arriving by other methods. Tactical sealift occurs when a ship is carrying personnel along with vehicles and equipment, is able to deploy them directly and operationally, like in an amphibious assault. While ships are slower than their airborne counterparts and may require port facilities to unload their cargo, their larger capacity allows them to transport heavy armoured forces or bulky supplies that only the largest strategic airlifters could handle, in much greater quantities.
A state's sealift capabilities may include civilian-operated ships that operate by contract, but which can be chartered or commandeered during times of military necessity to supplement government-owned naval fleets. Some smaller navies have built multi-role vessels that combine sealift with other capabilities, such as those of a patrol frigate or a command-and-control vessel; the Royal Danish Navy's Absalon-class and the Royal New Zealand Navy's multi-role vessel HMNZS Canterbury being two examples. Sealift refers to the re-supply of isolated communities with fuel, building materials, foodstuffs and other goods; this is the most common method used for the coastal communities of northern Canada due to the lower cost and the larger capacity of ships and barges over aircraft. An annual occurrence in the Arctic, the sealift is performed between July and October, when the sea is ice free. Two types of ships are used, the older, less-seen cargo ship and the more usual tugboat. While both types haul barges, the cargo ship carries cargo on deck.
Most Arctic communities do not have a port and cranes to unload the supplies but may have a simple dock. Where the community does not have a dock, the ship either must ground the barges. Supplies are removed by forklift truck, carried on board; the interior of the barges are used to carry fuel and other supplies are carried in containers on deck. Power projection United States Navy Military Sealift Command Royal Navy's Royal Fleet Auxiliary Littoral warfare Loss of Strength Gradient Seabasing Over-the-beach capability U. S. Merchant Marine Academy This article incorporates public domain text from the United States Department of Defense Joint Publication 4-01.2 Sealift Support to Joint Operations Sealift - Federation of American Scientists Military Analysis Network Sealift Co-ordination Centre - NATO/EU sealift co-ordination Government of Nunavut - sealift information
The capital ships of a navy are its most important warships. A capital ship is a leading or a primary ship in a naval fleet. William S. Lind, in the book America Can Win, defines a capital ship as follows: "These characteristics define a capital ship: if the capital ships are beaten, the navy is beaten, but if the rest of the navy is beaten, the capital ships can still operate. Another characteristic that defines capital ships is that their main opponent is each other." There is no formal criterion for the classification, but it is a useful concept in naval strategy. A notable example of this is the Mahanian doctrine, applied in the planning of the defence of Singapore in World War II, where the Royal Navy had to decide the allocation of its battleships and battlecruisers between the Atlantic and Pacific theatres; the Mahanian doctrine was applied by the Imperial Japanese Navy, leading to its preventive move to attack Pearl Harbor and the battleships of the U. S. Pacific Fleet; the naval nature of the Pacific Theater of Operations, more referred to as the Pacific War, necessitated the United States Navy deploying its battleships and aircraft carriers in the Pacific.
The war in Europe was a land war. Before the advent of the all-steel navy in the late 19th century, a capital ship during the Age of Sail was understood as a ship that conformed to the Royal Navy's rating system of a ship of the line as being of the first, third or fourth rates: First rate: 100 or more guns carried on three or four decks. Four-deckers suffered in rough seas, the lowest deck could fire except in calm conditions. Second rate: 90–98 guns. Third rate: 64 to 80 guns. Fourth rate: 46 to 60 guns. By 1756, these ships were acknowledged to be too weak to stand in the line of battle and were relegated to ancillary duties, although they served in the shallow North Sea and American littorals where larger ships of the line could not sail. Frigates were ships of the fifth rate. Towards the end of the Napoleonic Wars and into the late 19th century, some larger and more powerful frigates were classified as fourth rates; the term "capital ship" was first coined in 1909 and formally defined in the limitation treaties of the 1920s and'30s in the Washington Naval Treaty, London Naval Treaty, Second London Naval Treaty.
This applied to ships resulting from the dreadnought revolution. In the 20th century in World Wars I and II, typical capital ships would be battleships and battlecruisers. All of the above ships were close to 20,000 tons displacement or heavier, with large caliber guns and heavy armor protection. Cruisers, despite being important ships, were not considered capital ships. An exception to the above in World War II was the Deutschland-class cruiser. Though this class was technically similar to a heavy cruiser, albeit with heavier guns, they were regarded by some as capital ships since they were one of the few heavy surface units of the Kriegsmarine; the American Alaska-class cruiser, Dutch Design 1047 battlecruiser and the Japanese Design B-65 cruiser, planned to counter the heavy cruisers being built by their naval rivals, have been described as "super cruisers", "large cruisers" or "unrestricted cruisers", with some advocating that they be considered as battlecruisers, however they were never classified as capital ships.
During the Cold War, a Soviet Kirov-class large missile cruiser had a displacement great enough to rival World War II-era battleships and battlecruisers defining a new capital ship for that era. In regard to technical design, the Kirov is a supersized guided-missile cruiser with nuclear propulsion, it took until late 1942 for aircraft carriers to be universally considered capital ships. The U. S. Navy was forced to rely on its aircraft carriers after the attack on Pearl Harbor sank or damaged eight of its Pacific-fleet battleships. In the 21st century, the aircraft carrier is the last remaining capital ship, with capability defined in decks available and aircraft per deck, rather than in guns and calibers; the United States possesses supremacy, in both categories of aircraft carriers, possessing not only 11 active duty supercarriers each capable of carrying and launching nearly 100 tactical aircraft, but an additional 12 amphibious assault ships as capable as the light VSTOL carriers of other nations.
Despite their significance to modern fleets, the U. S. Navy has never named aircraft carriers after U. S. states. Instead, U. S. state names are today applied to nuclear submarines while aircraft carriers are named after famous Navy personnel and presidents, such as Chester W. Nimitz and Gerald R. Ford. Ballistic missile submarines, while important ships and similar in tonnage to early battleships, are counted as part of a nation's nuclear deterrent force and do not share the sea control mission of traditional capital ships. Many
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U. S. allies or partner nations. With the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches, it has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force. The U. S. Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, established during the American Revolutionary War and was disbanded as a separate entity shortly thereafter.
The U. S. Navy played a major role in the American Civil War by blockading the Confederacy and seizing control of its rivers, it played the central role in the World War II defeat of Imperial Japan. The US Navy emerged from World War II as the most powerful navy in the world; the 21st century U. S. Navy maintains a sizable global presence, deploying in strength in such areas as the Western Pacific, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, it is a blue-water navy with the ability to project force onto the littoral regions of the world, engage in forward deployments during peacetime and respond to regional crises, making it a frequent actor in U. S. foreign and military policy. The Navy is administratively managed by the Department of the Navy, headed by the civilian Secretary of the Navy; the Department of the Navy is itself a division of the Department of Defense, headed by the Secretary of Defense. The Chief of Naval Operations is the most senior naval officer serving in the Department of the Navy.
The mission of the Navy is to maintain and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas. The U. S. Navy is a seaborne branch of the military of the United States; the Navy's three primary areas of responsibility: The preparation of naval forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war. The maintenance of naval aviation, including land-based naval aviation, air transport essential for naval operations, all air weapons and air techniques involved in the operations and activities of the Navy; the development of aircraft, tactics, technique and equipment of naval combat and service elements. U. S. Navy training manuals state that the mission of the U. S. Armed Forces is "to be prepared to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations in support of the national interest." As part of that establishment, the U. S. Navy's functions comprise sea control, power projection and nuclear deterrence, in addition to "sealift" duties, it follows as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, with it, everything honorable and glorious.
Naval power... is the natural defense of the United States The Navy was rooted in the colonial seafaring tradition, which produced a large community of sailors and shipbuilders. In the early stages of the American Revolutionary War, Massachusetts had its own Massachusetts Naval Militia; the rationale for establishing a national navy was debated in the Second Continental Congress. Supporters argued that a navy would protect shipping, defend the coast, make it easier to seek out support from foreign countries. Detractors countered that challenging the British Royal Navy the world's preeminent naval power, was a foolish undertaking. Commander in Chief George Washington resolved the debate when he commissioned the ocean-going schooner USS Hannah to interdict British merchant ships and reported the captures to the Congress. On 13 October 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the purchase of two vessels to be armed for a cruise against British merchant ships. S. Navy; the Continental Navy achieved mixed results.
In August 1785, after the Revolutionary War had drawn to a close, Congress had sold Alliance, the last ship remaining in the Continental Navy due to a lack of funds to maintain the ship or support a navy. In 1972, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, authorized the Navy to celebrate its birthday on 13 October to honor the establishment of the Continental Navy in 1775; the United States was without a navy for nearly a decade, a state of affairs that exposed U. S. maritime merchant ships to a series of attacks by the Barbary pirates. The sole armed maritime presence between 1790 and the launching of the U. S. Navy's first warships in 1797 was the U. S. Revenue-Marine, the primary predecessor of the U. S. Coast Guard. Although the USRCS conducted operations against the pirates, their depredations far outstripped its abilities and Congress passed the Naval Act of 1794 that established a permanent standing navy on 27 March 1794; the Naval Act ordered the construction and manning of six frigates and, by October 1797, the first three were brought into service: USS United States, USS Constellation, USS Constitution.
Due to his strong posture on having a strong standing Navy during this period, John Adams is "often called the father of the American Navy". In 1798–99 the Navy was involved in an undeclared Quasi-War with France. From 18
An aerodrome or airdrome is a location from which aircraft flight operations take place, regardless of whether they involve air cargo, passengers, or neither. Aerodromes include small general aviation airfields, large commercial airports, military airbases; the term airport may imply a certain stature. This means that all airports are aerodromes. Usage of the term "aerodrome" remains more common in the Ireland and Commonwealth nations. A water aerodrome is an area of open water used by seaplanes or amphibious aircraft for landing and taking off. According to the International Civil Aviation Organization an aerodrome is "A defined area on land or water intended to be used either wholly or in part for the arrival and surface movement of aircraft." The word aerodrome derives from Ancient Greek ἀήρ, δρόμος, road or course meaning air course. An ancient linguistic parallel is hippodrome, derived from ἵππος, δρόμος, course. A modern linguistic parallel is an arena for velocipedes. Αεροδρόμιο is the word for airport in Modern Greek.
In British military usage, the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War and the Royal Air Force in the First and Second World Wars used the term—it had the advantage that their French allies, on whose soil they were based and with whom they co-operated, used the cognate term aérodrome. In Canada and Australia, aerodrome is a legal term of art for any area of land or water used for aircraft operation, regardless of facilities. International Civil Aviation Organization documents use the term aerodrome, for example, in the Annex to the ICAO Convention about aerodromes, their physical characteristics, their operation. However, the terms airfield or airport superseded use of aerodrome after World War II, in colloquial language. In the early days of aviation, when there were no paved runways and all landing fields were grass, a typical airfield might permit takeoffs and landings in only a couple of directions, much like today's airports, whereas an aerodrome was distinguished, by virtue of its much greater size, by its ability to handle landings and take offs in any direction.
The ability to always take off and land directly into the wind, regardless of the wind's direction, was an important advantage in the earliest days of aviation when an airplane's performance in a crosswind takeoff or landing might be poor or dangerous. The development of differential braking in aircraft, improved aircraft performance, utilization of paved runways, the fact that a circular aerodrome required much more space than did the "L" or triangle shaped airfield made the early aerodromes obsolete; the city of the first aerodrome in the world is a French commune named Viry-Chatillon. The unimproved airfield remains a phenomenon in military aspects; the DHC-4 Caribou served in the U. S. military in Vietnam, landing on rough, unimproved airfields where the C-130 workhorse could not operate. Earlier, the Ju 52 and Fieseler Storch could do the same, one example of the latter taking off from the Führerbunker whilst surrounded by Russian troops. An airport is an aerodrome certificated for commercial flights.
An air base is an aerodrome with significant facilities to support crew. The term is reserved for military bases, but applies to civil seaplane bases. An airstrip is a small aerodrome that consists only of a runway with fueling equipment, they are in remote locations. Many airstrips were built on the hundreds of islands in the Pacific Ocean during World War II. A few airstrips grew to become full-fledged airbases as strategic or economic importance of a region increased over time. An Advanced Landing Ground was a temporary airstrip used by the Allies in the run-up to and during the invasion of Normandy, these were built both in Britain, on the continent. A water aerodrome is an area of open water used by seaplanes or amphibious aircraft for landing and taking off, it may have a terminal building on land and/or a place where the plane can come to shore and dock like a boat to load and unload. The Canadian Aeronautical Information Manual says "...for the most part, all of Canada can be an aerodrome", however there are "registered aerodromes" and "certified airports".
To become a registered aerodrome the operator must maintain certain standards and keep the Minister of Transport informed of any changes. To be certified as an airport the aerodrome, which supports commercial operations, must meet safety standards. Nav Canada, the private company responsible for air traffic control services in Canada, publishes the Canada Flight Supplement, a directory of all registered Canadian land aerodromes, as well as the Canada Water Aerodrome Supplement. Casement Aerodrome is the main military airport used by the Irish Air Corps; the term "aerodrome" is used for airports and airfields of lesser importance in Ireland, such as those at Abbeyshrule. Spaceport
An aircraft carrier is a warship that serves as a seagoing airbase, equipped with a full-length flight deck and facilities for carrying, arming and recovering aircraft. It is the capital ship of a fleet, as it allows a naval force to project air power worldwide without depending on local bases for staging aircraft operations. Carriers have evolved since their inception in the early twentieth century from wooden vessels used to deploy balloons to nuclear-powered warships that carry numerous fighters, strike aircraft and other types of aircraft. While heavier aircraft such as fixed-wing gunships and bombers have been launched from aircraft carriers, it is not possible to land them. By its diplomatic and tactical power, its mobility, its autonomy and the variety of its means, the aircraft carrier is the centerpiece of modern combat fleets. Tactically or strategically, it replaced the battleship in the role of flagship of a fleet. One of its great advantages is that, by sailing in international waters, it does not interfere with any territorial sovereignty and thus obviates the need for overflight authorizations from third party countries, reduce the times and transit distances of aircraft and therefore increase the time of availability on the combat zone.
There is no single definition of an "aircraft carrier", modern navies use several variants of the type. These variants are sometimes categorized as sub-types of aircraft carriers, sometimes as distinct types of naval aviation-capable ships. Aircraft carriers may be classified according to the type of aircraft they carry and their operational assignments. Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, RN, former First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy, has said, "To put it countries that aspire to strategic international influence have aircraft carriers." Henry Kissinger, while United States Secretary of State said: "An aircraft carrier is 100,000 tons of diplomacy". As of April 2019, there are 41 active aircraft carriers in the world operated by thirteen navies; the United States Navy has 11 large nuclear-powered fleet carriers—carrying around 80 fighter jets each—the largest carriers in the world. As well as the aircraft carrier fleet, the U. S. Navy has nine amphibious assault ships used for helicopters, although these carry up to 20 vertical or short take-off and landing fighter jets and are similar in size to medium-sized fleet carriers.
China, India and the UK each operate a single large/medium-size carrier, with capacity from 30 to 60 fighter jets. Italy operates two light fleet carriers and Spain operates one. Helicopter carriers are operated by Japan, Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Thailand. Future aircraft carriers are under construction or in planning by Brazil, India, the United Kingdom, the United States. Amphibious assault ship Anti-submarine warfare carrier Balloon carrier and balloon tenders Escort carrier Fleet carrier Flight deck cruiser Helicopter carrier Light aircraft carrier Sea Control Ship Seaplane tender and seaplane carriers Aircraft cruiser A fleet carrier is intended to operate with the main fleet and provides an offensive capability; these are the largest carriers capable of fast speeds. By comparison, escort carriers were developed to provide defense for convoys of ships, they were slower with lower numbers of aircraft carried. Most were built from mercantile hulls or, in the case of merchant aircraft carriers, were bulk cargo ships with a flight deck added on top.
Light aircraft carriers were fast enough to operate with the main fleet but of smaller size with reduced aircraft capacity. The Soviet aircraft carrier Admiral Kusnetsov was termed a heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser; this was a legal construct to avoid the limitations of the Montreux Convention preventing'aircraft carriers' transiting the Turkish Straits between the Soviet Black Sea bases and the Mediterranean. These ships, while sized in the range of large fleet carriers, were designed to deploy alone or with escorts. In addition to supporting fighter aircraft and helicopters, they provide both strong defensive weaponry and heavy offensive missiles equivalent to a guided missile cruiser. Aircraft carriers today are divided into the following four categories based on the way that aircraft take off and land: Catapult-assisted take-off barrier arrested-recovery: these carriers carry the largest and most armed aircraft, although smaller CATOBAR carriers may have other limitations. All CATOBAR carriers in service today are nuclear powered.
Two nations operate carriers of this type: ten Nimitz class and one Gerald R. Ford class fleet carriers by the United States, one medium-sized carrier by France, for a world total of twelve in service. Short take-off but arrested-recovery: these carriers are limited to carrying lighter fixed-wing aircraft with more limited payloads. STOBAR carrier air wings, such as the Sukhoi Su-33 and future Mikoyan MiG-29K wings of Admiral Kuznetsov are geared towards air superiority and fleet defense roles rather than strike/power projection tasks, which require heavier payloads. Today China and Russia each operate one carrier of this type – a total of three in service currently. Short take-off vertical-landing: limited to carrying STOVL aircraft. STOVL aircraft, such as the Harrier Jump Jet family and Yakovlev Yak-38 have limited payloads, lower perfor
In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast, maneuverable long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller powerful short-range attackers. They were developed in the late 19th century by Fernando Villaamil for the Spanish Navy as a defense against torpedo boats, by the time of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, these "torpedo boat destroyers" were "large and powerfully armed torpedo boats designed to destroy other torpedo boats". Although the term "destroyer" had been used interchangeably with "TBD" and "torpedo boat destroyer" by navies since 1892, the term "torpedo boat destroyer" had been shortened to "destroyer" by nearly all navies by the First World War. Before World War II destroyers were light vessels with little endurance for unattended ocean operations. After the war, the advent of the guided missile allowed destroyers to take on the surface combatant roles filled by battleships and cruisers; this resulted in larger and more powerful guided missile destroyers more capable of independent operation.
At the start of the 21st century, destroyers are the global standard for surface combatant ships, with only two nations operating the heavier class cruisers, with no battleships or true battlecruisers remaining. Modern guided missile destroyers are equivalent in tonnage but vastly superior in firepower to cruisers of the World War II era, are capable of carrying nuclear tipped cruise missiles. At 510 feet long, a displacement of 9,200 tons, with armament of more than 90 missiles, guided missile destroyers such as the Arleigh Burke-class are larger and more armed than most previous ships classified as guided missile cruisers; some European navies, such as the French, Spanish, or German, use the term "frigate" for their destroyers, which leads to some confusion. The emergence and development of the destroyer was related to the invention of the self-propelled torpedo in the 1860s. A navy now had the potential to destroy a superior enemy battle fleet using steam launches to fire torpedoes. Cheap, fast boats armed with torpedoes called torpedo boats were built and became a threat to large capital ships near enemy coasts.
The first seagoing vessel designed to launch the self-propelled Whitehead torpedo was the 33-ton HMS Lightning in 1876. She was armed with two drop collars to launch these weapons, these were replaced in 1879 by a single torpedo tube in the bow. By the 1880s, the type had evolved into small ships of 50–100 tons, fast enough to evade enemy picket boats. At first, the threat of a torpedo boat attack to a battle fleet was considered to exist only when at anchor. In response to this new threat, more gunned picket boats called "catchers" were built which were used to escort the battle fleet at sea, they needed significant seaworthiness and endurance to operate with the battle fleet, as they became larger, they became designated "torpedo boat destroyers", by the First World War were known as "destroyers" in English. The anti-torpedo boat origin of this type of ship is retained in its name in other languages, including French, Portuguese, Greek, Dutch and, up until the Second World War, Polish. Once destroyers became more than just catchers guarding an anchorage, it was realized that they were ideal to take over the role of torpedo boats themselves, so they were fitted with torpedo tubes as well as guns.
At that time, into World War I, the only function of destroyers was to protect their own battle fleet from enemy torpedo attacks and to make such attacks on the battleships of the enemy. The task of escorting merchant convoys was still in the future. An important development came with the construction of HMS Swift in 1884 redesignated TB 81; this was a large torpedo boat with three torpedo tubes. At 23.75 knots, while still not fast enough to engage enemy torpedo boats reliably, the ship at least had the armament to deal with them. Another forerunner of the torpedo boat destroyer was the Japanese torpedo boat Kotaka, built in 1885. Designed to Japanese specifications and ordered from the Glasgow Yarrow shipyards in 1885, she was transported in parts to Japan, where she was assembled and launched in 1887; the 165-foot long vessel was armed with four 1-pounder quick-firing guns and six torpedo tubes, reached 19 knots, at 203 tons, was the largest torpedo boat built to date. In her trials in 1889, Kotaka demonstrated that she could exceed the role of coastal defense, was capable of accompanying larger warships on the high seas.
The Yarrow shipyards, builder of the parts for Kotaka, "considered Japan to have invented the destroyer". The first vessel designed for the explicit purpose of hunting and destroying torpedo boats was the torpedo gunboat. Small cruisers, torpedo gunboats were equipped with torpedo tubes and an adequate gun armament, intended for hunting down smaller enemy boats. By the end of the 1890s torpedo gunboats were made obsolete by their more successful contemporaries, the torpedo boat destroyers, which were much faster; the first example of this was HMS Rattlesnake, designed by Nathaniel Barnaby in 1885, commissioned in response to the Russian War scare. The gunboat was armed with torpedoes and designed for hunting and destroying